Drogba going nowhere says Kenyon - Premier League - Football - The Independent

Drogba going nowhere says Kenyon

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon insists Ivorian striker Didier Drogba has a future at Stamford Bridge.

Kenyon, speaking at a press conference to announce a four-year sponsorship extension with tour operator and travel partners Thomas Cook, said Drogba would not be sold in the January transfer window and he expects him to remain at the club until the end of his current contract.

Drogba's future came under fresh speculation last week when the player was alleged to have attended a meeting with Inter Milan sporting director Marco Branca at a Fulham restaurant.

The Ivory Coast international has served two games of a three-match domestic ban for throwing a coin back at Burnley fans during their Carling Cup tie.

"Didier is under contract with us for the next 18 months," said Kenyon. "He will be going nowhere unless we agree. I am concerned about the reports only because it is unsettling.

"It is as much down to us as anybody else. I don't know whether he did or didn't meet with anyone. It is not relevant. Didier has been injured, then banned and he's back after the Bolton game.

"He is a big player. He is important for us and we want him back because he is one of those players who can make a difference. But Didier will be going nowhere in January."

Kenyon also insisted there was no crisis at Stamford Bridge despite Chelsea's current dip in form, which includes their 2-1 home defeat by Arsenal yesterday.

Kenyon is happy with the performance of coach Luiz Felipe Scolari even though Chelsea have now dropped 12 points at home, been dumped out of the Carling Cup by Burnley and need to beat CFR Cluj at home to qualify for the knockout stage of the Champions League.

They will also surrender leadership of the Barclays Premier League tonight unless Liverpool lose against West Ham at Anfield.

"Life is good despite yesterday's result," insisted Kenyon. "I think everybody was disappointed by that but we've got a big squad with a lot of experience and this is a long season. I don't think we should concern ourselves about one or two results.

"I am absolutely convinced, in terms of the management and the players, that we will get back on track quickly because they are big pros and they have been there before."

Chelsea are unlikely to make any moves into the transfer market in January as Kenyon is not a believer in short-term fixes.

The Blues have traditionally opted out of big spending in the mid-season window, although striker Nicolas Anelka arrived from Bolton last January for £15m.

Instead, Kenyon believes the return of injured stars like defender Ricardo Carvalho, striker Drogba, and, more importantly, midfielder Michael Essien, will be key for the second half of the campaign

"I don't think we will be doing any business in the January transfer window because the type of players we are looking for are not available," said Kenyon.

"Another reason is that we have still got some long-term injuries coming back and in January or February Chelsea will have more player availability.

"We put our squad together in the summer and we are concentrating on the squad we have and making sure our players get back from injury. On that basis, we think we have got a good enough squad to improve on last season."

Meanwhile, the Football Association will not take any action against Scolari following his comments about referee Mike Dean after the Arsenal defeat.

Scolari demanded an apology from Dean and his assistant for their failure to disallow Robin van Persie's equaliser.

The Arsenal midfielder was clearly offside as he fired the ball beyond Petr Cech to put Arsenal level in the 59th minute.

The goal changed the game and three minutes later Van Persie struck his ninth of the season to clinch all three points and put the Gunners back in the title hunt.

An FA spokesman said: "We have studied the remarks of Luiz Felipe Scolari and will not be taking any further action."

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